Today’s Sportstat: August 1, 2019

Brewers not ‘California Dreamin’ on the west coast

Why is it that every time the Brewers head off on a road trip to the west coast I think something bad is going to happen? Something like a road trip where they go 2-7 or get swept in a series or two on the road out west?

Well, this year the Brewers’ trips out west have not been very successful… and it could be that if they miss the playoffs that lack of success on west coast road trips could be the reason.

Through games of August 1, the Brewers had a 7-18 record in 2019 (a .280 winning percentage) in road games played in the Pacific Time Zone, otherwise known as Pacific Standard Time (PST)… games against the Angels, A’s and Mariners (American League teams) and games versus the Dodgers, Giants and Padres (National League teams. With their recent three-game series in Oakland where they won only one of three games against the A’s in a short three-game series out west, the Brewers are done playing games this season in the PST.

As mentioned above, the Brewers will end the 2019 campaign with a record of 7-18 in games in the PST, again, a winning percentage of .280. That means that with a 57-53 record at the end of the day on August 1 that the Brew Crew are 50-35 (.588 winning percentage) in games not played in the PST. That’s a pretty significant gap between .588 in non-PST games and .280 in PST games.

Last season, the Brewers were 13-7 (.650) in PST games. In 2017, their record in games played in Pacific Time Zone was 11-9 (.550).

Let’s take a look at how well the Brewers have played in games in the Pacific Time Zone since 2009. Against the Angels, Dodgers, A’s, Padres, Mariners and Giants in their home parks, the Brewers have a record of 57-64 (.471). Here is Brewers road record against each of these six PST teams from 2009-2019.

Los Angeles Angels 2-4

Los Angeles Dodgers 21-14

Oakland A’s 2-3

San Diego 16-18

Seattle 3-3

San Francisco 13-22

That’s a losing record against four of these teams, a .500 record against one team, and a winning record against only one PST team since 2009… the Dodgers.

If the Brewers fail to reach the post-season this season, they may look at their paltry 7-18 record against teams on the west coast as one reason for their struggles. Time will tell.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

 

 

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Todays Sportstat: July 29, 2019

Last playoff game win for each of the 32 NFL teams

NFL training camps have begun and that means the 2019 NFL season has unofficially started.

Each team has a 0-0 record and a number of the teams have Super Bowl aspirations. All teams are focused on a successful camp and getting off to a good start when the regular season begins. After that, a playoff spot is certainly a goal of every team. Once that playoff spot is secured, winning a post-season game is the next step.

Winning a playoff game, however, is not always an easy task. In fact, there are four NFL franchises that have not won a playoff game this century. The four: Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. If we add Miami, Oakland, Tampa Bay and Washington, these are the eight NFL teams that have not won a playoff game in more than 10 years!

The Bengals have played in eight post-season games since their last playoff victory in 1990; they are 0-8 in those playoff contests. The Lions are almost as bad… they are 0-9 in playoff games since their last post-season win in the 1991 season. The Browns are 0-2 since their last playoff win in 1994 and the Bills are 0-5 in playoff games since their last post-season win in 1995.

Here is a look at the last season each of the 32 NFL franchises won a playoff game. (Current franchise city is listed.)

1990: Cincinnati

1991: Detroit

1994: Cleveland

1995: Buffalo

2000: Miami

2002: Oakland, Tampa Bay

2005: Washington

2010: Chicago, N.Y. Jets

2011: N.Y. Giants

2013: San Francisco

2014: Baltimore

2015: Arizona, Carolina, Denver

2016: Green Bay, Houston, Pittsburgh, Seattle

2017: Atlanta, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Tennessee

2018: Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, New Orleans, New England, Philadelphia

 

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Today’s Sportstat: July 25, 2019

Brewers rookie Keston Hiura can hit

Imagine what kind of damage Brewers second baseman (and rookie) Keston Hiura could have done had he been with the Brewers the entire 2019 season. Hiura has 10 home runs and a .327 batting average in 40 games with the Brewers this year. With 58 games remaining on the schedule, Hiura is on a pace to slug 24 home runs, which would be the third most by a Brewers rookie in franchise history.

Here is a look at the most home runs by a rookie in Brewers history.

34-Ryan Braun
28-Prince Fielder
17-Greg Vaughn
17-Danny Walton
16-Jesus Aguilar
16-Casey McGehee
16-Darrell Porter
15-Bob Coluccio
15-Pedro Garcia
15-Wayne Comer

You may be wondering why a few Brewers legends/sluggers are not on the above list… Paul Molitor had six HRs his rookie season (1978), while Greg Vaughn, a rookie in 1989, had only five homers that season. Gary Sheffield had only four home runs his rookie season in 1988; Robin Yount was a rookie in 1974 and had only three homers that season

What has been even more impressive with Hiura’s batting prowess in his first season in the majors has been his hitting for average. With a .327 batting average, Hiura is second to Christian Yelich’s .335 average. A strong finish to this season and Hiura could challenge the team record for highest batting average by a rookie. Of all Brewers rookies with 250 plate appearances, Ryan Braun tops the list with a .324 batting average in his first season with the club. Braun did that in 2007 when he was selected as the National League Rookie of the Year.

Following are the Top 10 Brewers rookies in batting average for a season (250 plate appearances to qualify).

  1. Ryan Braun, 2007… .324
  2. Scott Podsednik, 2003… .314
  3. Casey McGehee, 2009… .301
  4. B.J. Surhoff, 1987… .299
  5. Ronnie Belliard, 1999… .295
  6. Dion James, 1984… .295
  7. Pat Listach, 1992… .290
  8. Alex Sanchez, 2002… .289
  9. Nori Aoki, 2012… .288
    10.Ernest Riles, 1985… .286

Of the 10 players listed above, seven of them finished in the Top 10 for Rookie of the Year voting that season. Braun and Listach won the award, while Podsednik finished second.

Wondering about Molitor and Yount? Molitor hit .273 his rookie season (and he finished second in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting that year), while Yount hit .250 his rookie season.

Former Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett hit .324 his rookie season with the Brewers, but based on our criteria, he did not qualify for the list… he had 230 plate appearances that season.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: July 22, 2019

Bucks off-season moves reveal more three-point bombs coming next season

Based on the moves the Milwaukee Bucks have made this off-season, it appears that not reaching the NBA Finals last season won’t stop them from staying the course with their style of play. Anyone thinking that missing out on an NBA title would force the team to adjust their offensive strategy can forget that thought.

Although the team lost a couple of three-point weapons in Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, the signing of Wes Matthews Jr. and Kyle Korver shows the team is committed to having three-point shooters in the starting line-up and coming off the bench.

Last season the Bucks set a team record with five different players making 75 or more three-pointers during the season (Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brodgon and Tony Snell). That broke the record of four players with 75+ made three-pointers in a season (it happened four seasons, 2016-17, 2012-13, 2010-11 and 2002-03). In addition, the team last year had eight players who attempted 150 or more shots from beyond the arc, again a team record. The eight: Lopez, Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, Snell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova. Seven players attempted 150 or more three-pointers in 2016-17, the previous mark: Giannis, Brodgon, Snell, Matthew Delavedova, Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic and Jason terry.

Replacing Brogdon and Snell will be the aforementioned Matthews and Korver. Here is what they bring to the team from three-point range:

  • Matthews was 150-for-403 (37.2%) from beyond the arc last season. In his 10-year NBA career, Matthews has made 75 or more threes in nine of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in all 10 of his seasons. He has played 60 or more games in each of his 10 campaigns and he is a career .382 three-point shooter.
  • Korver is recognized as one of the league’s top long-distance shooters. He was 113-for-294 (38.4%) on threes last season. In his 16-year NBA career he has made 75 or more threes in 15 of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in 15 of his 16 campaigns. A durable competitor, Korver has played 65 or more games in all but one of his 16 NBA campaigns. He is a career .429 three-point shooter. An added benefit is that Korver played under current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta; not only that, but in four NBA seasons Korver led the league with the highest three-point shooting percentage… three of those four seasons were in Atlanta playing for Budenholzer.

One downside of the Matthews and Korver signings is that both players are in their 30’s; Korver will be 38 next season and Matthews will be 33. Brogdon is still relatively young in NBA years and will be 26 when the next season begins.

Here’s another interesting stat about Matthews and Korver: Of all NBA players who have attempted 1,000 or more threes in a career, Korver ranks sixth all-time with his three-point career shooting percentage of .429. The five players ahead of Korver are Steve Kerr, Hubert Davis, Stephen Curry, Jason Kapono and Steve Novak. Matthews is in the Top 100 in this list tied for 88th. The only current Bucks player on the list is Khris Middleton who’s .388 career three-point shooting percentage is tied for 62nd on the list.

Bottom line… the Bucks have filled their roster with more three-point shooters for next season. Now imagine what will happen if Brook Lopez can teach his brother, Robin, a new Bucks signee, to step back and launch some threes.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: July 17, 2019

MLB’s best second-half teams over the past three seasons

For those teams hoping to make a run at a post-season appearance, getting off to a good start after the All-Star break is important.

Looking at the past three seasons (2016-18), the Chicago Cubs have been baseball’s best second-half team in that time period. The Cubs compiled a record of 139-78 (.641 winning percentage) after the All-Star break in the past three seasons, tops in the majors. Over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians were the league’s best second-half team the last three seasons with a .633 winning percentage. The Cubs and Indians were the only teams to win 60 percent or more of their games in the second half of the three seasons from 2016-18.

Here’s a look at the winning percentages of each MLB team after the All-Star break over the past three seasons.

Chicago Cubs, .641
Cleveland, .633

Boston, .599
L.A. Dodgers, .581
N.Y. Yankees, .571
Washington, .566
St. Louis, .556
Houston, .555
Milwaukee, .531
Colorado, .519
Oakland, .517
Seattle, .510
Tampa Bay, .509
N.Y. Mets, .500

L.A. Angels, .499
Atlanta, .488
Toronto, .486
Texas, .483
Kansas City, .477
Arizona, .476
Pittsburgh, .474
Minnesota, .468
Philadelphia, .435
Miami, .427
San Diego, .424
Baltimore, .421
Chicago White Sox, .421
Cincinnati, .418
Detroit, .417

San Francisco, .399

The Cubs have had two of the three best second half winning percentages over the last three campaigns. In 2016 the Cubs had a winning percentage of .685 the second half of the season; in 2017 their second-half winning percentage was .662. The only team with a better second-half winning percentage over the past three seasons were the 2017 Cleveland Indians who had a .733 winning percentage after the All-Star break that season. The Oakland A’s had the best second half winning percentage last season at .646; the Brewers were second with a .631 second-half winning percentage in 2018.

For the record, the Boston Braves hold the MLB record for highest second-half winning percentage at .792… they were 61-16 after the All-Star break in 1914. Thirty-three different teams had a winning percentage of .700 or higher in the second half of the season. Five of those happened after 2000: Oakland-2001, .773; Cleveland-2017, .733; Oakland-2002, .716; Seattle-2001, .707; and N.Y. Yankees-2009, .703.

 

 

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